Ceanothus sanguineus
Wild lilac
Image of Ceanothus sanguineus

Photo by Susan R. Crispin 

More Images

Key Characteristics

Medium-sized shrub (1-3 m) of rocky hills; leaves elliptic; flowers white, borne in clustered umbels.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: T
  • State Rank: S2
  • Global Rank: G5


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Distribution map for Ceanothus sanguineus

Updated 5/15/2018. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


Found in the western Upper Peninsula, where it is known from rocky openings and woods, shrubby, rocky, bluffs, and ridges. Sites vary from full sun to partial shade.

Natural Community Types


For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Associated Plants

Quaking aspen, paper birch, red pine, white pine, jack pine, speckled alder, chokecherry, serviceberry, common juniper, and bracken fern.


Because the habitat is generally unfavorable for development, colonies are not under heavy threat. It is susceptible to foot traffic, however, and therefore needs protection from trampling and excessive recreational use of sites. Where it occurs along shorelines, habitat protection and perpetuation of natural disturbance (winter ice, storms, wind) and hydrological regimes are important. Maintaining sites in at least a partially open canopy is likely important for this species.

General Survey Guidelines

Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgment of the investigator.

Survey Methods

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at http://mnfi.anr.msu.edu/explorer [Accessed Sep 24, 2018]

More Information

See MNFI Species Abstract


Survey References

Technical References

Facebook link